8-2-14 Sangha Update

The lotuses are blooming again...transforming mud into beauty...just like us!

You are continued by your views and your thinking. Those are the children you give birth to every moment. And that is your true continuation. So it is crucial to look deeply at your thoughts and your views.

What are you holding on to?

Whether you are an artist or a businessperson, a parent or a teacher, you have your views about how to live your life, how to help other people, how to make your country prosperous, and so on. When you are attached to these views, to the idea of right and wrong, then you may get caught.

When your thinking is caught in these views, then you create misunderstanding, anger, and violence. That is what you are becoming in this very moment.

When you are mindful of this and can look deeply, you can produce thoughts that are full of love and understanding. You can make yourself and the world around you suffer less. You are not static.
You are the life that you are becoming.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
from our friend Bruce Nichols
Dear Friends,
I hope you are well and happy and looking deeply at any attachment to views you might have that are coloring your perceptions. I hope this finds you freeing yourself from those that are watering any unwholesome seeds and instead, are producing thoughts that are full of love and understanding for yourself and everyone else...that is true happiness!
We have a chance to practice together tomorrow evening (August 3) at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County at the Lily Pads complex on North Rd in Peace Dale at 6 PM. There will be sitting meditation, a recitation of the Five Mindfulness Trainings and Kate O'Kula will facilitate a Dharma sharing about the next chapter in "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching". I hope you will be able to come. It should be wonderful!
This is a reminder to check the Blue Cliff monastery website...bluecliffmonastery.org ...they are offering lots of wonderful retreats. One of them will be for veterans. They are looking for support in the form of scholarships for them to be able to attend...there is a letter below about this and how you might help if you are able.
Please continue to keep our friends Sue and Roger  Morgan and their grandson, Orion, in your prayers at 8 each evening. You can also send love to sstrongmorgan@gmail.com.
Thank you for your prayers for my father. He continues to recover.
Please also remember the RI Community of Mindfulness picnic at Colt State Park on September 27th.
The Mind Tamers are once again organizing a picnic for the entire Community of Mindfulness. Thank you Mind Tamers! It will take place on Saturday, September 27th at shelter #3 in the beautiful Colt State Park. We  will share a vegetarian potluck picnic and ask everyone to contribute games, stories, songs, poems, etc. It is always a lot of fun. I hope you all will be able to be with us. (I will pass on more info as I receive it)
I hope you can join us for some of these gatherings...in the meantime, I hope you are continuing beautifully by your views and by your thinking.
with much love and the freshness of a garden after a summer shower for you,

INFORMATION ABOUT THE VETERAN'S RETREAT, IF you can help, please contact Blue Cliff Monastery..

The Iraq and Afghanistan veterans I spoke with about our November retreat at BCM displayed support and interest in our offer of scholarships and our focus on post 9/11 veterans and their partner/spouses. I believe that most of these interested young men and women will not be able to attend without scholarship support.
Camilo Mejia, Former IAVA Board Chairman and author of " Road From Ar Ramadi " has agreed to disseminate information about our retreat among his peers.  Camilo was the first prisoner of conscience in the Iraq war.   He spent six months in combat as a US Army staff sergeant in Iraq (his first combat tour after enlisting). He returned for a 2-week furlough to the US after which he did not return for duty. He was charged with desertion and sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to return to fight in Iraq. He has since become an nationally known advocate for peace and justice.  He was quoted during his imprisonment:
"I was a coward, not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being, and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier. What good is freedom if we are not able to live with our own actions? I am confined to a prison, but I feel, today more than ever, connected to all humanity. Behind these bars I sit a free man because I listened to a higher power, the voice of my conscience. "
I will be in contact with Camilo Mejia about the development of our retreat, so please keep me updated as information develops.
In gratitude to our four fold sangha,